(The 2nd in a series on predator patterning)
Horses perceive almost any unusual circumstance as threatening. A horse's instincts tell it that humans are predators who want to harm it. For the most part, humans do act like predators around horses and so their fears are justified. If it is true that men are patterned as predators and this is behavior that we want to change, then it's important to understand what the patterning is and how we can interrupt it.
So, what characterizes predators?
Technically, predatory behavior is that which results in the killing of another animal for food. It is aggressive violence for the purpose of satisfying the physical need for survival.
Predators have excellent sensory perception to locate their prey. For example, many predatory birds possess keen eyesight and some, like owls, possess superior hearing to locate their prey. Predators are very capable of singling out young, old, weak or sick individuals in a group of prey and separating them from the group.
Speed and Camouflage
Predators use superior or unusual physical capabilities to capture their prey. Many predators are very fast and use their superior speed to capture their prey. Cheetahs, falcons and dolphins are examples. Some predators can physically disguise themselves from their prey, allowing them to get close enough to strike. Some sea creatures can make themselves look like the surrounding coral in order to snap up a fish passing by. Other predators, like lions, use stealth to creep up on their prey un-noticed.
Predators typically have their eyes on the front of their head, facing forward. This is in contrast to many prey animals whose eyes are on the sides of the head, looking out to each side of the head.
Many predators act alone, but some, like wolves, act in groups.
Usually, adolescents and adults attack prey.
Predators are very efficient in hunting their prey. Predators are straight-line thinkers. They are aggressive, direct and unwavering in the pursuit, capture, killing and consuming of their prey. Predators have the physical capability to kill their prey, once captured, using sharp beaks or teeth and talons or claws or other means of killing their prey. They instinctively know that the neck is a point of weakness in their prey and attack that point to bring their prey down and kill it quickly. This is where the phrase "going for the throat" came from. Another weak point is the belly.
Predators develop separately, but may live in the same or adjacent habitats as their prey.
Most species are potential prey for other animals at least some time in their lives. Predators usually eat other animals. Many prey are vegetarian.
Predators are typically fewer in number than their prey.
Some men relish the thought of being perceived as a predator and others are offended by it. Next time we'll discuss prey patterning. I know these are unusual posts because they are coming in parts. I hope they start to make some sense when taken as a whole.